One of the physical aspects of the body that many people are concerned about is their height. Short people are always looking for ways to increase their height, especially when they reach the stage where their bodies stop developing, which is around 18 and 20 years. But can you grow after 18? Read on to find out.
How the Human Body Develops
Development of the human body begins inside the womb when the female egg is fertilized by a male sperm cell. This fertilization creates a zygote through cell differentiation and mitosis. The zygote is then transformed into an embryo, which is implanted in the uterus where it goes through several stages of fetal development until birth.
After birth, the baby continues to grow, both physically and psychologically. This type of development is influenced by hereditary, hormonal, and environmental factors, and it continues during life: through infancy and puberty into adulthood. Childhood comprises several developmental stages, including toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence.
Adolescence is the process through which a child’s body is transformed into adulthood. This process involves various physical and psychological changes that are influenced by hormonal signals sent from the brain to the gonads.
When the brain sends the signals, the body generates hormones that stimulate the child’s libido and the development, performance, and transformation of the bones, muscles, blood, hair, brain, and reproductive organs.
Please note that height accelerates in the first half of adolescence and stops when the adult body is fully developed. The human body attains a height that’s equal to the radius of the ground when it’s projected from the surface of the earth. A person’s height is normally determined by their DNA or genetic makeup.
80 percent of your height is determined by your DNA. Therefore, if your parents are tall, you have a high chance of becoming tall. Nevertheless, several other factors can influence your height, including hormones, overall health, and nutrition.
After birth, a baby will grow continuously because of the changes occurring in the growth plates in their arms and legs. The plates continuously make new bones, allowing the long bones to grow longer. This increases the child’s height. Within the first year after birth, the child grows by 50 percent.
By age two, the child should grow by 3.5 inches or 8.9 centimeters per year. After their 10th birthday, they should grow by 6.3 centimeters every year. A child reaches the final 20 percent of their adult height growth during puberty, which lasts between ages 11 and 21. At this point, their growth plates stop producing new bone.
What Determines Your Height?
As mentioned above, DNA is responsible for 80 percent of a person’s height. That’s why you’ll find people of diverse heights around the world. Scientists studying the metrics and variables used for predicting a person’s height discovered that genes are powerful indicators. In short, if both of your parents are tall, you’ll most likely be tall.
But this assumes that all other factors remain constant. As noted above, other factors like illness, hormones, and nutrition can affect your height. According to studies, malnutrition and severe illness during childhood can prevent you from reaching your genetic height.
For instance, some scientists hypothesize that the increase in consumption of fast foods and soft drinks in the United States has contributed immensely to the growing number of short people in the country.
They argue that Americans aren’t necessarily growing shorter; they’re simply not getting the necessary nutrients to grow as fast as they used to in the past. Aside from nutrition, severe illnesses like celiac disease, rickets, juvenile osteoporosis, and anemia can easily limit your growth, especially if they occur during childhood. Moreover, a hormonal imbalance has also been shown to result in short stature, particularly dwarfism.
If your pituitary gland fails to produce enough hormones, your normal growth will slow down or stop completely, leading to dwarfism. Children with GH deficiency grow by less than five centimeters a year. This deficiency occurs when the pituitary gland or hypothalamus is either damaged or doesn’t function as it ought to.
Can You Grow After 18?
When you reach the end of your adolescence, your growth plates stop producing new bone, thus preventing you from growing taller. But it’s possible for you to grow taller after 18 years with some external interventions. However, this type of growth requires you to put in extra effort because your body slows down over time.
Nutrition plays a critical role in determining how tall you become. So, fixing your diet right from your childhood will help you to attain your desired height. You can also combine this with other factors to trigger further growth after 18 years.
9 Tips on How to Grow After 18 Years Old
If you still want to grow taller at the end of your puberty, you have to try the available external interventions because your growth plates are no longer producing new bone. Here are some useful interventions that you can try.
1. Healthy Breakfast
Many people prefer to skip breakfast, especially because they don’t have enough time to prepare a healthy breakfast. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast is not good for your height. So, find time to prepare a healthy breakfast so that you can boost your metabolism and stimulate a positive effect on your growth.
2. A Healthy Diet
Most people fail to reach their genetic height due to poor nutrition. Therefore, always have a balanced diet before and after 18 years to keep your growth hormones active. Proper nutrition will provide your body with the necessary stimulus for growth and height gain, both naturally and therapeutically. Your diet should be rich in essential nutrients such as zinc, phosphorous, and manganese because they help the bones to grow.
3. Enough Sleep and Rest
Sleep is an important part of human growth and development. That’s why mothers are advised to ensure that their newborns get enough sleep and rest. Even teenagers and adults need enough sleep and rest. On average, a teenager should have at least 9 hours of sleep every day.
Your body grows and renews growth tissues during sleep. Furthermore, the growth hormone is produced during sleep. So, if you want to grow taller, make sure you get enough sleep and rest every night.
4. Frequent Meals
Instead of having two or three large meals every day, you should have several smaller meals throughout the day. This will increase your metabolism and the amount of growth hormone in your body. Just make sure that the small meals you have are well balanced so that your body can have all the necessary nutrients required for growth.
5. Regular Exercising and Yoga
Exercising has been shown to help increase height after 18 years. Make sure that simple exercises like stretching, skipping, standing on your toes, and hanging from an overhead bar are included in your daily workout routine. You should also engage in different sporting activities, including football, swimming, and basketball because they help to increase height. Don’t forget to do yoga because it’s very effective.
6. Lose Excess Body Weight
Obesity affects your height, especially if it occurs during childhood. It also causes other serious health problems that can restrict your body’s normal development. So, if you want to reach your desired height, maintain a good workout routine and a balanced diet.
7. Staying Hydrated
Water is good for aiding digestion and removing toxins from your body. When you get these toxins out of your system, your body can continue to function optimally, thus generating enough growth hormones. So, drink at least eight glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated.
8. Avoiding Growth Inhibitors
Some habits will like smoking and drinking alcohol will expose you to growth inhibitors, thus curtailing your body from reaching its ideal height. If you want to grow taller after 18 years, avoid things like cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and antibiotics.
9. Adopting Good Posture
Maintaining a good posture from childhood helps your body to attain its ideal height. So, whether you are sitting down or standing up, always keep your head and neck properly aligned to have a straight posture. Avoid bending or slouching for a long time because it will suppress your spine’s normal height.